LuxLeaks: S&D wins ground-breaking vote on mandatory tax disclosures
Today in Brussels, Euro MPs backed a proposal by S&D MEP Sergio Cofferati, to oblige large EU companies to openly declare the taxes paid in each country they operate in (including tax heavens), after a close vote (13 in favour, 10 against) on a legislative proposal to enhance corporate transparency and shareholders' rights.
The proposal, strongly opposed by the EPP, ALDE and ECR members, was adopted by European Parliament legal affairs committee.
Today's adopted directive also introduces the "say on pay" system on listed companies, i.e. the possibility for shareholders, but also employees, to have their say or vote on directors' remuneration policy, often the cause of hazardous and unsustainable short-term decision-making.
Following today's vote, the European Parliament will now begin negotiations with the Council and Commission on its implementation. EPP, ECR and ALDE have requested that the matter be brought to the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament.
S&D MEP Sergio Cofferati, European Parliament rapporteur on the shareholders' rights directive and now lead negotiator with the EU governments on the new mandatory country-by-country tax reporting, said:
"This is a major step forward in the fight against tax evasion and tax avoidance. Europe now stands a chance of creating a fairer and more transparent system. I hope the EPP, ALDE and ECR will not challenge this democratic result and will allow us to keep fighting for tax justice and tax transparency."
Evelyn Regner, coordinator of the S&D Group in the legal affairs committee added:
"This is another important step in our fight for tax justice. Companies will have to reveal how much tax they pay in each country. We are already looking forward to our negotiations with the member states, once the procedural issues have been overcome."
S&D Group vice-president, Jörg Leichtfried concluded:
"In light of the Lux-leaks scandal, it is now more important than ever that the European Parliament fights for tax transparency. Anyone opposing a crucial element like country-by-country reporting will have to take the political responsibility for that. Our citizens would not understand a parliament that decides to set up a special committee on tax issues and, at the same time, doesn't support an important measure in order to enhance transparency on these topics."